Look, I know the real answers to getting a good night’s sleep:
- Buy the property next door to you, or add an extra wing to yours
- Install a night nanny, preferably Mary Poppins, to live with the children in said wing from 7pm until morning
- Get a ‘brain switch off button’ and press off at desired time
- Put a urinary catheter in overnight
- Separate bedrooms for you and your husband
- A pillow that gently massages your neck and shoulders, and strokes your hair
- Temperature controlled responsive bedding
- A mattress that’s super comfortable
OK, so let’s get realistic, we’re not going to get all the things on this list, but we can try our best to ensure the sleep we do get is of good quality. The years where we have to share with a wriggly, heat radiating baby that wakes you up every hour are short, that racing brain we have makes sure we don’t forget anything and live our best life, so there are some sacrifices to be made. Some of the most successful and ambitious people only sleep 3-4 hours a night and claim to not need any more. Our bedroom needs to be a safe haven, a place of comfort and relaxation, to unwind and recharge.
The relationship between stress and success
Many adults will struggle with sleep throughout their lifetime. Whether it’s a stressful day, a crying baby, or a bad back; a bad nights sleep can lead to a bad day ahead. With May being mental health awareness month, getting in enough sleep has never been so important with a lack of sleep often leading to physical and mental health problems. The two are interlinked. I believe my postnatal depression in the past was partly due to lack of sleep and my feeling that I would never again sleep well. I remember one night where she had taken the bottle and was sleeping longer but I lay awake thinking she would wake any minute, and also calculating how much sleep I would get if I fell asleep now… probably slept worse than if she had woken 5 times! If I’d managed to relax it would have been easier, I felt so alone. I have found a happy medium now thankfully! I do like to get to bed relatively early and I hate getting up before I feel ready (that hasn’t changed since I was a child, I’ve never been a morning person). If I find myself awake in the night unable to drop off, I avoid my phone, get comfy and play a tried and tested story in my head which usually works to help me drop back off. I see it as my own personal quiet time.
Stress is a natural driver in our body which we use to thrive on and push ourselves in life, but sometimes it goes into overdrive and affects our well-being. It is possible to learn to cope with stress and make it work for us. Do you ever think about your personal relationship with stress? How do you deal with it’s effects? We all cope differently. Some people use it to drive their daily life and career, and work better under pressure, others do their best to avoid stress at all costs. Either way, we will all most likely experience the effect of stress on our sleep pattern and mental well being when things become a bit much. Have you ever been so tired yet you had trouble getting off to sleep? Laid awake after the night feed struggling to get back to sleep? Sleep plays a major role in being able to cope in a stressful situation.
Here’s a few sleep tips, or relaxation tips that have helped me in the past and present to unwind and sleep:
- Set the environment for sleep – fresh sheets, clean pyjamas, low lighting, comfy pillows, good quality mattress
- Use a night time routine that’s the same each night
- Practice a wind down time
- Avoid caffeine after 3pm
- Turn off the phone, tablet etc. an hour before bed
- Keep a notepad and pen beside the bed so you can write down any burning issues troubling you or to do lists
- Keep a drink of water by the bed
- Invest in blackout curtains or blinds
- Keep the bedroom clutter free
- Use guided meditation
If you’re in need of a new mattress or pillow, which definitely helps getting quality sleep, TEMPUR® offer a range of products such as mattresses, pillows and beds, all made from NASA’s unique memory foam to help you improve your sleep. Tempur will be making a donation to The Mental Health Foundation Charity for every mattress sold in May. £10 from the sale of every Tempur mattress purchased online or through a Tempur retail outlet or Tempur Store in May 2018 will be paid to The Mental Health Foundation, a registered charity, with registered numbers 801130 (in England) and 039714 (in Scotland). This post is in collaboration with Tempur, all opinions are my own.